UK election: government’s net migration target under scrutiny

Recent figures put UK net migration at 273,000, however the Conservative government’s election manifesto will promise to bring it down to the “tens of thousands,” the BBC reported.

The pledge was included by former prime minister David Cameron in the party’s 2010 and 2015 manifestos, but the target has never been met.

Net migration has been above 300,000 for much of the past two years.

On Sunday, home secretary Amber Rudd refused to confirm the net migration numbers in the Conservative’s upcoming election manifesto.

“It’s too early to say. I appreciate you want to push me on this but we are going to have to wait until the manifesto comes out,” Rudd told BBC Radio 5 live.

Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP for Streatham, criticised the expected Conservative pledge as divisive and dishonest.

“Tory ministers are persisting with a damaging migration target they have never met and will never achieve without crippling our economy,” he said in a statement.

“Setting an unachievable target undermines public trust in the immigration system and ramps up division in this country,” he added.

Ukip, which pollsters expect to garner just five percent of the vote in the upcoming general election, said the government’s target was “vacuous”.

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is expected to include a “one in, one out” pledge to cut net migration to zero when he sets out his party’s immigration policy later today.

Last month, British prime minister Theresa May signalled her support for low net migration.

“We want to see sustainable net migration in this country,” she said. “I believe that sustainable net migration is in the tens of thousands.”